Thanks to a 120-word essay from senior Tibs P. a $10,000 grant is now going to Treehouse, a Seattle organization that provides youth in foster care in Washington with academic and other essential support for high school.
The grant comes as result of Tibs winning the 2016-17 Gatorade Washington Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year. As part of the Gatorade Play It Forward program, Gatorade donates $1,000 to an organization of the winner's choosing, but each winner can choose to write an essay to try to increase the award to $10,000.
"An organization similar to Treehouse changed my life," says Tibs. "If that money can help them change someone else's life, then that is very meaningful to me."
Tibs grew up in Ethiopia and says he never had the chance to go to school or enjoy being a child. He worked like an adult, until an organization like Treehouse helped give him an education, provide family and shelter, and introduced him to what it means to live a child's life.